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Final Rule: Enforcement Procedures for Surface Transportation Violations

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In July 2009, TSA issued its final rule that revises the agency's enforcement procedures to codify provisions of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act).

This rule expands TSA's enforcement procedures to cover security violations of surface transportation, as authorized by the 9/11 Act. Violations of TSA's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) rule, finalized in 2006, TSA's final rail transportation security rule, finalized in late 2008, and future requirements for surface modes also are covered by the revised administrative enforcement procedures. TSA may impose a maximum penalty per case of $50,000 if the violation is committed by an individual or small business and a maximum of $400,000 for other violators. Courts may impose higher amounts. Before imposing a penalty, TSA will provide written notice and an opportunity for the violator to request a hearing.

Consistent with the 9/11 Act, there are special procedures applicable to violations by public transportation agencies. Before TSA can impose civil penalties on these agencies, TSA must provide a written notice of the violation and a reasonable opportunity for the agency to correct the violation or propose an alternative means of compliance, as well as the opportunity for a hearing.

For both aviation and non-aviation-related requirements, administrative penalties are one of several available enforcement options. Others include counseling and notices of violation. TSA considers a number of factors before deciding which enforcement tool to use.